2013’s Most Shocking and Memorable Character Deaths on TV


Downton Abbey, Coven, The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones


Now that 2014 is well underway, we here at TVRage thought it was time to take a step back and survey all of the TV tragedy we’ve managed to survive over the past year (and boy has there been a lot of it). What can we say, we’re a nostalgic group of people… or a bunch of masochists…hmm…moving on!

Bottom line — writers no longer feel the need to wait for a series finale to off a major player, meaning anyone’s at risk at anytime. So let’s just try and think of this as a therapy session of sorts as we mourn the loss of some of TV’s most beloved characters.

Also, just in case you couldn’t tell from the title, I’m about to divulge some MAJOR plot points about many different shows. So if you don’t want to be spoiled, back away from your computers slowly before you read too far and feel like adding me to a similar type list.

1. Agent Debra Parker — ‘The Following’

The Following

This poor FBI agent experienced one of the scariest things that make up many people’s nightmares…being buried alive. Seriously, this did not look like a fun time. Agent Parker was dragged out into the middle of the woods and shoved into an empty coffin, which, unfortunately, the police were unable to locate in time. Granted, being killed on this show is almost as common as breathing, but it was still sad to see her go nonetheless.

2. Declan Porter — ‘Revenge’


Personally, I was never a huge Declan fan, but I am a HUGE Jack supporter, so it was devastating to see him go through all that suffering from the loss of his brother. Though I’m still trying to figure out how one dies of heart failure during a building explosion. Any thoughts?

3. Tommy Merlyn — ‘Arrow’


He may not have been an insanely ripped, arrow-wielding vigilante, but Tommy was still a decent guy who had a lot more to give. And the fact that he died while heroically saving Laurel from the earthquake in the Glades made his death all the more tragic.

4. Terry Bellefleur — ‘True Blood’

True Blood

The most shocking thing about Terry’s death was how sad I was when it happened, especially since he was the one who'd hired his Army buddy to carry out the deed (and then was made to forget about it completely). Truth be told, Terry never really had the most exciting role in the series, but he’s been around since the beginning, so his death felt a lot more meaningful and poignant than a standard ‘TB’ offing. There was even a whole episode devoted almost entirely to his funeral, which was surprisingly emotional and a rare chance for the characters to grieve (instead of immediately having to fight off yet another supernatural foe). This town really does have the worst luck.

5. Madison Montgomery — ‘American Horror Story: Coven’

2013’s Most Shocking and Memorable Character Deaths on TV

Okay, this one’s sort of cheating since she was eventually brought back to life by the super-powerful (and possible next Supreme?) Miss Misty Day. But that didn’t make watching Fiona slit her throat any less shocking. Madison was an immediate character favorite right from the start of the season, so it was a devastating blow to think she’d left us for good. Luckily, on a show like ‘AHS,’ being dead doesn’t always mean you’ll stay that way.

6. Peter Russo — ‘House of Cards’

House of Cards

The fact that the likable Russo would ultimately meet his demise wasn’t particularly shocking for many fans (nice guys finished last and all that). But him dying at Frank’s hands via carbon monoxide poisoning wasn’t necessarily something we saw coming. At least not for me, anyway. And I think perhaps Frank surprised himself a little bit as well.

7. Verna Thornton — ‘Scandal’


Yes, she was dying from cancer, so I guess we all knew her actual death was imminent. However, we had no idea that she would end up dying by the hands of Fitz — aka the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES — after he learned of her intentions to come clean about the election rigging. I mean, he suffocated a Supreme Court Justice member…not exactly patriotic or…you know…legal. Just leave it to Shonda Rhimes to turn the POTUS into a killer.

8. Sam Bates — ‘Bates Motel’

Bates Motel

Any ‘Psycho’ fanatic would be able to tell you the many things dear Norman is capable of, but it was still jarring to see him start killing at such a young age. Dude’s got some serious issues…like blacking out and bludgeoning your father with a pitcher. I don’t care how annoying your relatives are. This is just not cool.

9. Jeremy Gilbert — ‘The Vampire Diaries’

The Vampire Diaries

Again, I’m sort of cheating with this one since he was brought back to life by Bonnie later on, but we didn’t know that at the time and thought our not-so-Little Gilbert had been lost to us forever. I mean, on most shows, being drained by an ancient witch/vampire (who then proceeds to snap your neck for good measure), would be enough to kill you. But this is ‘TVD’ we’re talking about, so we really should’ve known better. Nothing could keep us away from those wife beaters and biceps for very long. But the biggest emotional heartbreak came afterward, during Elena’s epic meltdown over his death. If that scene where she decided to turn off her emotions didn’t completely ruin you, then you have no soul (or you’re perhaps a vampire who has also turned off their emotions, in which case you are forgiven). But thankfully, Jeremy’s back now and more shirtless than ever.

10. Daniel Douglas Langston — ‘Scandal’


I’m not sure if anyone really cared that much about Daniel given his rather minimal role in the series. However, when your death involves the Vice President Sally Langston stabbing you repeatedly with a letter opener, then you get an immediate boost in popularity. This was an incredibly shocking scene, even for this show, which is usually chock-full of exciting twists. Who knew Sally had it in her? Though with the way things are going, she may not end up getting away with it. Anyone else starting to think D.C. is pretty corrupt?

11. Kevin Tran — ‘Supernatural’


He’d stuck around longer than most of us expected, which is what makes his sudden death (via Gadreel in Sam’s body) feel all the more unfair and heartbreaking. That’ll be enough to send Sam spiraling into yet another guilt trip given that he always saw himself as Kevin’s protector. (Which is pretty ironic now in a dark, twisted kind of way.) So get ready to see some more brooding. RIP Kevin — you will be missed.

12. Andrea — ‘The Walking Dead’

The Walking Dead

No one can blame Andrea for not wanting to become a zombie, so shooting herself after being bitten was pretty much the only logical alternative. And while she had a tendency to be a tad unpopular amongst ‘The Walking Dead’ fanbase, Andrea was still a major part of the show and it was upsetting to see her go. Plus, those final moments with Michonne by her side were legitimately heart-rending.

13. Matthew Crawley — ‘Downton Abbey’

Downton Abbey

Ugh, Julian Fellowes, you devious, devious man. To have the oh-so-dreamy Matthew Crawley die in a car crash just after he and Lady Mary were happily married and had a baby was absolutely devastating. Of course, this isn't entirely Fellowes' fault given that Stevens had asked to be written off the show. But still, to have the character die during the series’ Christmas special was just plain cruel.

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Level 9 (5%)
Points: 1534.7
Since: 11/Oct/12
Message Posted On Jan 19th, 2014, 5:27 am

Rogers: Opie died in 2012.


Message Posted On Jan 16th, 2014, 3:21 pm
What about Opie? (SoA)

Message Posted On Jan 16th, 2014, 7:50 am
I'm so glad I don't watch mainstream TV any more. Only show of any interest to me here is House of Cards.

Level 3
Points: 2.7
Since: 15/Dec/08
Message Posted On Jan 14th, 2014, 11:29 am

The actress who is playing Agent Debra Parker already died in an horrible manner in Law & Order! If I remember correctly she was kidnapped by some gang members then they tapped her mouth and put her in the trunk of a car.

She was found later by McCoy in the trunk dead as she drowned in her own vomit.


Message Posted On Jan 13th, 2014, 3:40 pm
So glad Madison was brought back on Coven. She's my favorite this season. Buzbybumble, the writer warned readers at the top of the article that big spoilers would be revealed. It's your own fault you didn't listen to the warning.


Level 7 (20%)
Points: 1706.8
Since: 03/Jul/13
Message Posted On Jan 13th, 2014, 2:01 pm

Thanks for the spoilers that I did not know about. You have ruined Scandal for me NOW!!! In Britain and Ireland we are not as far ahead. You should of had some consideration for NON-US readers. YOU SUCK AT WRITING ARTICLES


Level 4 (75%)
Points: 802.8
Since: 09/Sep/13
Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2014, 10:43 pm

Hi Vanaques. That one's listed on the second page. That character definitely had to be included :)


Level 2 (49%)
Points: 7.5
Since: 23/Apr/13
Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2014, 3:42 pm

How did *SPOILERS for SoA*


Tara's death not make this list?


Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2014, 2:55 pm
The Red Wedding scene was so devastating. Glad to see it made the list.

(Data Entry Specialist)

Level 55 (99%)
Points: 29646.6
Mood: mellow
Since: 17/Jul/06
Message Posted On Jan 11th, 2014, 9:26 am

"it inspired fan outrage, petitions and a slew of angry tweets (yours truly included). Thankfully, our cries of injustice were heard and Stewie traveled back in time to save his furry friend. But still…that time in-between was pretty brutal."

At the risk taking this too seriously & missing any tongue-in-cheek intentions, "our cries"... the "fan outrage, petitions & angry tweets" had nothing to do w/ Brian's return.

Also, "the time between was pretty brutal"? You mean the one episode that aired between Brian's death & return? The episode that had zero mention of Brian or his being gone. "Brutal"... Dramatic much?